The days were longer and the sun set later so summer bed time slipped to 9:00 PM or later. If a parent was lucky, the kids would even sleep past 6:30 AM. The parents in our neighborhood made the kids play outside after morning chores like making beds or cleaning bathrooms or taking out the garbage.
Baseball, basketball, skateboarding, and bike riding kept kids active. Negotiating (arguing over) rules taught them a fair amount of social skills.
The early afternoon was for swimming or someone turned on the sprinklers. By late afternoon the kids were tired so quiet time inside was called for. During a heat wave, like the one in the Midwest this summer, the AC and a cool unfinished basement provided a respite from the unrelenting heat outside. The kids were allowed to play 2 hours of video games or watch TV between 3 and 5 or until it was time to help with supper.
After supper together, there might be a few more chores before family time playing games or a half hour of TV before bath time, story time, and light's out.
What's right with that scenario? No matter what your work or sports schedule or your family situation there are some great practices mentioned.
- Time outside and lots of physical activity
- Limited screen time (TV or video games)
- Planned cooperation with the neighboring parents
- Allowing children to learn how to work through problems through play
- The expectation of chores
- Regular and consistent schedules